Wild West



(1992, by Frederick Nolan): No book surpasses Nolan’s as a comprehensive narrative of the complex history of Lincoln County in territorial New Mexico. Thorough in coverage, balanced in interpretation, well written and overflowing with appealing photographs, his oversized volume remains the first stop for those wanting to understand the life and times of Billy the Kid. Nolan’s Kid is as he should be—a delightful and entertaining companion but also a murderous opponent.


Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life (1989, by Robert M. Utley): Utley’s brief biography of the Billy is a masterwork of diligent research and inviting writing. His to-the-point narrative serves as an excellent primer on the Kid. The author is willing to criticize the outlaw without painting him as an unsympathetic desperado.

To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West (2010, by Mark Lee Gardner): With his dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, Gardner established a reputation as a first-rate historian with an enticing literary style. The book is thoroughly researched, smoothly written and chock-full of valuable info and insights. No one has provided a more useful study of the storied opponents.

(2013, by Kathleen P. Chamberlain): Chamberlain presents a breakthrough perspective with this narrative of the most important woman in what is largely an all-male story. The author sketches in Sue McSween’s pre-New Mexico backgrounds, then reveals her central role with husband Alex McSween in the Lincoln County War and her

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